The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

In May Elvis the postman puppet came to introduce the story in the library at Sant Pol de Mar.

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He said hello and listened while everyone introduced themselves.

Copia de storytelling may 2013 (10)We then had fun telling the story of The Jolly Postman and reading all the letter inside the book.


We then had a creative time designing new stamps!

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The older children wrote their own letter to a fairytale character. We also had a chance to look at Who’s Afraid of The Big Bad Book?

Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Book

I love the illustrations in this book but due to the amount of text it’s difficult for young English language learners.


However the children enjoyed spotting the different fairy tale characters and remembering their names in English!

Who's afraid

I’ll be back in Sant Pol in July with some sessions on the terrace in the meantime I’ll be in storytelling in schools in Argentona, Mollet de Valles, Sant Fost de Campsentelles and Barcelona. And also in a new library in Santa Coloma. Watch this space!



The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs!

If you wanted to hear the “true story” of The 3 Little Pigs you should have been in the library in Sant Pol de Mar on Saturday. If you were not, you may never know that it involved a sneeze and a cup of sugar.

There are many sides to a story and these two pictures books are wonderful re-workings of The Three Little Pigs;



After all the storytelling we had fun debating the all the facts.

Then we did some great writing and drawing! Well done everyone.





Stories for 9-12 year olds

Please find below a selection of stories available for Story Time for children aged between 9 and 12.


Jim and the Beanstalk

Themes: Fractured fairy tales, helping the aged and measuring.

Story Description: Jim woke up early one morning to find a plant that was very like a beanstalk growing outside his window. Climbing to the top of the beanstalk, he found a castle and a giant, but with very modern problems that only Jim could help solve.


Snow White in New York

Themes: Fractured fairy tales, Art Deco and Jazz.

Story Description: Pulsating with the rhythm and vibrancy of the Jazz Age, set in New York City in the 1920s. The story may be familiar, but the cast of characters will surprise you. Snow White is a beautiful jazz baby, protected by seven hot jazzmen. Instead of a wicked stepmother, her arch-enemy is the Queen of the Underworld. And her Prince Charming is a crack reporter from the “The New York Mirror”.


Rumpelstilstskin & Rapunzel

Themes: Tracing traditional tales and Italian Renaissance painting.

Rumpelstilstskin Story Description: The funny little man who spun straw into gold and helped the beautiful miller’s daughter marry the king gives her three days to guess his name or he will take away her child.

Rapunzel Story Description:  Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her-until the day a young prince hears her singing.


The Thousand Nights and One Night

Themes: The storyteller and literary techniques.

Story Description: Welcome to an ancient world of enchantment and adventure where animals talk, genies grant wishes and sorcerers and sultans rub shoulders with men. Retellings based on the original nineteenth-century English translation by Sir Richard Burton.


Poetry Workshop

Using poetry in the classroom is a great way to teach English. Poems are often rich in cultural references, and they present a wide range of learning opportunities. This workshop concentrates on communicative speaking activities and pronunciation.

Stories for 6-9 year olds

Please find below a selection of stories available for Story Time for children aged between 6 and 9.


The Gigantic Turnip

Themes: Growing vegetables and weather

Story Description: A counting book, an animal book, and a book of the seasons all rolled into the one cyclical narrative.

Stone Soup

Themes: Sharing and food.

Story Description: Stone Soup is a popular folktale in many countries that has been told for centuries. I use a version of Stone Soup which is an imaginatively creative story with colourfully descriptive pictures that bring the plot about sharing to life.

Lazy Jack

Themes: Jobs and places of work.

Story Description: A mournful princess sits at her castle window. Meanwhile, Jack (probably the laziest person in the world) is sent out to work by his mother. On his first day he is paid a shiny coin, but he drops it on the way home. “You should have put it in your jacket pocket!” cries his mother. So the next day, having worked for a dairyman, he pours the jug of milk he is given in payment into his jacket pocket! In fact, he always follows his mother’s most recent advice when bringing home his day’s earnings: it results in the most ridiculous scenarios.

New Patches for Old

Themes: Kindness and clothes

Story Description: A traditional Turkish folktale. Poor Hasan! His trousers are too long and it seems that nobody will help him to shorten them. What will he wear on the holiday?

The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza

Themes: Kindness, cooking and ingredients.

Story Description: A spirited and quirky remake of the classic tale, about an industrious hen and the rewards of her hard work and self-reliance. Children will enjoy following the process of making a pizza as the Little Red Hen–who can get no help from the duck, the dog, or the cat–buys an appropriate pan, kneads the dough, cuts and chops vegetables (and other stuff) for a fabulous topping, and bakes a giant pizza.

The Magic Paintbrush

Themes: Selfishness and sharing

Story Description: As Shen draws pictures in the sand, a mysterious man gives her a magic paintbrush. She paints, fish, pots and ladders and watches them come to life for the poor people in her village. But when the emperor hears of this, how can Shen outwit his greedy plans?

Little Red Hen Makes Pizza



I will be telling this story at the library on Saturday please find below details about the book and a link to some great activities.

Little Red Hen Makes Pizza by Philemon Sturges 
Bold, cut-paper illustrations enliven this charming tale of a hungry hen. Deciding that she’s hungry and in the mood for pizza, Little Red Hen asks her friends for help in making the pie. Her friends are busy, though, and decline to help until the smell of baking pizza wafts from her house. Then, the friends gather to enjoy the feast and help clean up!

Activities for Little Red Hen Makes Pizza 

I am available to come to your school or library to tell this story.


Jim and the Beanstalk

For the past two of weeks I’ve been editing a video. It took me back to my university days; I did a degree in Film and TV production. It’s amazing now how you can do it all on a computer. It’s a video which I’m going to use to promote storytelling and Look Out! Theatre Company’s Story Time in schools. It accompanies the Story Time web page and includes the storytelling sessions I did at the local primary school  with the 2nd and 4th years and one of the library sessions. (Some clips are included on my last blog) If you are a teacher interested in using storytelling and a storyteller in the classroom please contact me for a copy;




At the school one of the stories I told to the 4th years was Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs. This a fractured fairy tale and I think they are great to use with children that have knowledge of the traditional fairy tale but might think that the traditional one is too childish for them. In this session we first looked at the plot of Jack in the Beanstalk, so we could review vocabulary. I used questions like; who does Jack live with? Are they rich or poor? ect. The students were able to recall the information in both English and in their first language and I wrote key vocabulary on the board. I also introduced the vocabulary that the students would need for the comprehension for Jim before I told the story.



I’ve posted an edited version of the recording on Storytelling for Children web page. After the students helped measure each other, they told me their results in English and I wrote them on the board. As a round up I made some comparisons for example: Julie is the tallest in the class. Paul has the biggest head. etc. The British Council has got two great worksheets for this activity; Measure Me! and lots more activities related to Jack and the Beanstalk. Another follow up activity is to get students to compare and contrast the two stories: tradition and fractured. Here is a review of Jim and the Beanstalk and a list of some more fractured tales.




I also want to mention a web page from a Catalan children’s programme called una mà de contes which in English translates as a handful of stories. My son and I have been fans of the programme for a few years now and the web page was announced on a children’s news programme a few days ago. Take a look; I think it’s brilliant and a great storytelling resource. There are stories from all over the world, they use all different types of illustrations and you can put the stories into English. These last two photos are from the series. I’m back in the library next week so until then happy storytelling!